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Strengthening Positive Labour Relations

Our Vision

OPSBA believes that teachers and education workers deeply influence a positive and productive learning environment for students and are supported in this role through the peace and stability engendered by successfully negotiated collective agreements.

The Focus of Our Advocacy

  • Ensure OPSBA priorities are reflected in collective bargaining strategies and positions
  • Continue leadership as a Designated Employer Bargaining Agent in the bargaining of central agreements under the School Boards Collective Bargaining Act
  • Provide leadership in the discussions of central terms and conditions that respects the contributions of principals and vice-principals and their role in improving student achievement and well-being
  • Ensure government initiatives (legislation/policy) are assessed from the labour relations/collective bargaining perspective
  • Provide support to all OPSBA member boards in ongoing labour relations/collective bargaining services
  • Facilitate information and learning exchange through the OPSBA Board of Directors, Labour Relations Symposium, Senior Negotiators Committee and the Public Council of Ontario Directors of Education
  • Track board experience with contract implementation for forward planning
  • Maintain relationships with key education partners
  • Enhance communications support to school boards regarding labour relations
  • Participate in the work of the Provincial Health and Safety Working Group, which is addressing the issue of violence in classrooms as it affects the safety, health and well-being of all employees

It is OPSBA's goal to negotiate fair and equitable collective agreements through the collective bargaining process. Our priority continues to be the improvement of student achievement and well-being. That remains the focus of our bargaining.

The collective bargaining framework for the education sector features a two-tier bargaining process, or central and local bargaining as it is often referred to. This means issues such as salary, benefits, and paid leaves are negotiated on a province-wide basis at a central table. Participants at the central level include the government and trustees' associations as co-management partners, bargaining with teachers' federations and education worker unions.

Before bargaining commences, the parties agree to which items will be negotiated centrally. All other issues are then negotiated locally. The parties to local bargaining are individual school boards and their respective local bargaining units.

Read a backgrounder on Collective Bargaining in Ontario's public education sector (from OPSBA's Guide to Good Governance: 2018-2022)

Negotiations Updates 

*as of July 8, 2019

For more information about any of the central collective agreements mentioned below, please visit the Ministry of Education's website.

Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF)

OPSBA received Notice to Bargain from OSSTF on April 29, 2019.

OSSTF Education Workers

The Council of Trustees' Associations received Notice to Bargain from OSSTF Education Workers on April 29, 2019.

Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO)

OPSBA received Notice to Bargain from ETFO on June 3, 2019.

ETFO Education Workers

The Council of Trustees' Associations received Notice to Bargain from ETFO Education Workers on June 3, 2019.

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

The Council of Trustees' Associations received Notice to Bargain from CUPE on May 3, 2019.

Education Workers' Alliance of Ontario (EWAO)

The Council of Trustees' Associations received Notice to Bargain from EWAO on May 10, 2019.

Ontario Council of Education Workers (OCEW)

The Council of Trustees' Associations received Notice to Bargain from EWAO on June 24, 2019.

The central collective agreement was extended in March 2017 for an additional two years to Aug. 31, 2019, following ratification by all parties.


School Boards Collective Bargaining Act (SBCBA) Review 

OPSBA, along with the three other school board/trustee associations, gave a joint submission to the Standing Committee on General Government regarding Bill 92, School Boards Collective Bargaining Amendment Act, 2017, on March 8, 2017. This followed a letter to Minister Mitzie Hunter on Feb. 10, 2017, outlining school board concerns with respect to a number of issues related to the SBCBA. 

Stakeholder Consultation Summary

Following the conclusion of the first round of bargaining under the SBCBA, the government consulted with its partners in order to review the Act to see if there were improvements that could be made to the process. On July 4, 2016, the Minister of Education publicly released the summary of those consultations.


Additional information

OPSBA Media Releases